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February Update: Energy and Environment

29 January 2018

From negotiations to legislation, Brexit continues to hang heavy over the political scene this February as Prime Minister Theresa May struggles for her political survival amid mutinous mutterings over the next phase talks.

The House of Lords will take centre stage in the battle over future regulation as it considers the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill at the Committee Stage. 

Meanwhile, speculation will soon commence about the contents of the Chancellor's upcoming Spring Statement.

Here, Andrew Huckle, DeHavilland's Monitoring Consultant for Energy policy, gives you the lowdown on what to watch out for this February.

What's on the agenda this month

by Andrew Huckle, Monitoring Consultant

After months of debate and speculation, February is the month when the consumer energy market changes. Firstly, the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee will publish its report into the pre-legislative scrutiny of the Draft Price Cap Bill. A Government Bill is set to follow.
 
Secondly, Ofgem will extend the pre-existing cap for those on prepayment meters to 2m more vulnerable consumers.
 
Outside of this, the Smart Meters Bill will have its final stages in the Commons on 5 February. It will then move on to the Lords for detailed line-by-line scrutiny.
 
The same can be said for the Nuclear Safeguards Bill, which will have its Second Reading in the Lords on 7 February. Some peers may attempt to revive the battle to keep Britain in Euratom via an association agreement, although this was voted down in the Commons. Perhaps more importantly however, Labour have consistently criticised the secondary legislation powers given to the Government in the Bill.
 
This is interesting, as the Lords has made clear its disapproval of the Government granting itself such powers. For example, last month, peers defeated the Government on a similar issue on the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill, while arguments over the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill - commencing its Lords scrutiny at the end of January - are threatening to boil over in a very public fashion.
 

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Andrew Huckle, Monitoring Consultant
Andrew Huckle
Monitoring Consultant

Andrew Huckle is DeHavilland's dedicated Monitoring Consultant for Energy and Environmental Policy. A graduate of the University of Leicester and King's College London, where he read International Studies and European Studies respectively, he has previously worked as a Parliamentary Research Assistant and completed a traineeship with the European External Action Service.